World Children’s Day 2020: China’s Ban on Worship

As today marks World Children’s Day, we urge the People’s Republic of China to take immediate steps to stop the worship ban on China’s children and grant every child every right.

This event is convened to lift the voices and experiences of children who are survivors of China’s persecution on the basis of their religion or belief.

We recognise that, “The participation of children matters profoundly” and that improvements to the rights of the child are more likely to succeed when informed by their views.

Purpose

The aim of the side-event is to highlight how China through its current actions continues to breaches the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Through the experiences and recommendations of survivors, the event hopes to serve as a base to understand the widespread effects of China’s breaches to the Convention the Rights of the Child and facilitate steps forward for member states and UN bodies to address the violations to ensure every right for every child in China.

 

SPEAKERS

Keynote speaker – Emile Kao

Emilie Kao is an attorney who has defended religious freedom for the last 14 years. She has worked on behalf of victims of religious freedom violations in East Asia, the Middle East, Europe and South Asia. She has previously worked as a Legal Analyst at the United Nations.

Panel of survivors

The panel will consist of survivors and representatives from different religious groups in China

Esther, former Christian educator who had to flee China due to religious persecution.

X. X., daughter of Falun Gong practitioner and survivor of persecution

Stay Tuned! More speakers to be announced

The Situation of Christians in Syria

Many speakers will discuss the situation of the Christians in Syria in Different areas under the Syrian government control areas – Kurdish Autonomous administration NE  – areas under Turkish control NW.

Zoom Login Information

Meeting ID: 821 2540 9758
Passcode: 529340

Multilateral Response to China’s Human Rights Abuses

Please join the China Coalition, a multifaith group of NGOs united to promote the universal right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion for all people in China, for a rich panel discussion on actions Western countries can take to confront China’s expandig persecution of religions. Topics to be covered include the effect of the Hong Kong Security Law on FoRB, slave labor in the Uyghur region, and the influence of implementing Global Magnitsky.

Experts on the panel to include:

  • Mervyn Thomas (CSW)
  • Bob Fu (ChinaAid)
  • Uyghur Representative
  • Member of the European Parliament

We look forward to your participation. Please RSVP using the link below and reach out with questions to Logan at L.Carmichael@ChinaAid.org.

Persecution of Religious & Ethnic Minorities by State and Non-State Actors In Bangladesh: The Current Trends

The Panelists will try to inform and make aware of the ongoing program by the State and non-State Actors in Bangladesh have unleashed on the Religious and Ethnic Minorities in the country.

Religious Minority Persecution in Bangladesh: Implications for the Minorities and the Rest of the World

Religious & Ethnic Minority Persecution in Bangladesh

Since October 10, 1946, the Islamic ultra-nationalists, their fundamentalist & extremist allies have waged a low-intensity campaign of religious & and ethnic minority persecution in the geographical area that has been known as Bangladesh as of 1971, when the country emerged as a secular democratic nation, by seceding from the Islamic State of Pakistan.  Since Bangladesh was born as a secular democratic nation through a genocide in which nearly three million innocent, unarmed Bengalis were killed, 200,000 women raped, and nearly ten million people forced to leave the country in the face of atrocities, it was naturally expected that the minorities of the country would now enjoy equal rights and live there with human dignity, and safety of their life and property, as it was guaranteed in the country’s original constitution(1972). Unfortunately, the situation remains unchanged; by conducting a systematic campaign blatant discrimination, persecution, and savagery  tens of millions of Hindus, Buddhists & Christians  – – 37 to 49 million depending on when one starts counting from — to leave the country and seek refuge in India and elsewhere.

While this vicious campaign has been directly conducted primarily by the Islamists, it has often been  directly or indirectly aided by the governments, regardless of which party/parties may have been in power,  the Islamic nationalists, the coalition of Islamic nationalists & extremist, military dictators, or the so-called “secular democratic party/parties.”

The tools of persecution have included daily harassment by using slurs, blatant discrimination in the job sectors, vandalism, desecration of places of worship, land grabbing and forcible eviction by using an anti-minority law called the Enemy Property Act (later renamed Vested Property Act), eviction by force, arson, brutal torture, rape, gang rape & mass rape, and targeted grisly murders.  More recently, the Islamists have started hacking into minority member’s Facebook and then post blasphemous statuses against prophet Muhammad and then using that as a ploy wage brutal attacks on the minority villages (In such an attack that happened in Ramu, Chittagong in 2012, more than 25,0000 Islamists participated).  No government has ever prosecuted a minority persecutor which acts as a license for ridding the country of its non-Muslim population through violence. On the contrary victims are being incarcerated.

The current secularist Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina who claims to believe in secular democracy has reaffirmed Islam as the state religion by using her brute majority in the parliament.  She has always promoted Salafi/Wahabi Islam in the country, and to that end currently building 560 mega mosques with Saudi funding.  For years she has been dictated by the Islamic fundamentalists, particularly by Hefazat-E- Islam, at whose directive her government has  removed many non-Muslim writers from textbooks, allowed the 5th grade Islamic Studies textbook to have such statements as non-Muslims are inferior to Muslims; and, what is even more reprehensible is that she has tolerated ( and thus encouraged) the clerics to preach to the millions of common Muslims that non-Muslims are like human excreta, inferior to animals, in other words, an expendable commodity.

Unless the community of civilized nations intervene to reverse the course that Bangladesh has taken  the Islamists will eliminate the country’s non-Muslim or minority  population (Hindus, Buddhists, and Christians including the indigenous peoples) through violence.  As a matter of fact, based on a statistical analysis of the past and present rate of minority exodus under duress, Economist & Professor Abul Barakat has predicted that no minorities will be left in Bangladesh after thirty years (Dhaka Tribune, Nov. 21, 2016).  As can be understood, this vicious campaign is driven by the Islamists & Islamic ultranationalists’ declared goal of transforming Bangladesh into a monolithic Islamic state. In fact, their goal is to expand such a Bangladesh to include Arakan of Burma and parts of India (“Deadly Cargo,” in  Time Magazine, Oct 14, 2002), the country will become a monolithic Islamic state) and start exporting jihadists beyond Bangladesh’s borders, as it did in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It may be recalled that Bangladeshi jihadists fought alongside Bin Laden’s Al Qaida in Afghanistan (see e.g. American Taliban John Walker Lind’s interview with CNN News, Dec. 20, 2001), around which time the religious & ethnic minorities of Bangladesh were “Safe only in the departure lounge.” (The Economist, Nov. 29 -Dec. 5, 2003).  Fundamentally, the situation remains unchanged.

Our goal is to gather information about the plight of the religious & ethnic minorities of Bangladesh obtain recommendations from the panellists as to what measures are needed to be taken immediately by the government to stop violence against Bangladesh’s religious & ethnic minorities, and then disseminate them among those who have the will, ability, and power to plead with the Bangladesh government to stop this vicious campaign.

Contribution of Religions on Tackling COVID19 Crisis

With the worldwide coronavirus crisis ongoing, there have been different approaches on how to manage the freedom of religion or belief, with some governments allowing unrestricted access to some denominations, others limiting reasonably FORB, and others completely attacking religions for being the “spreaders” and this way using COVID19 to deter FORB especially to specific groups. One can find publicized views that religion is not an “essential service” and therefore religious activities are promoted as even dangerous. But, how are religions at large contributing to handling and stoping the risks in this crisis?

Why the Secret Vatican Deal is Bad for China’s Faithful

Join us for an important and candid panel discussion on the secret Sino-Vatican deal, which has enabled the increased persecution of people of all beliefs in China.

During the two years of the 2018 deal, the CCP has increasingly shuttered churches; destroyed religious icons; detained, imprisoned and tortured priests; and demanded absolute allegiance to President Xi by replacing all images of Our Lord with portraits of the Paramount Leader. Meanwhile, this summer, China brazenly reneged on its treaty with Britain, which guaranteed that Hong Kong would be secure under its own separate system of laws and freedoms. People of faith in Hong Kong are now also imperilled by the atheistic regime.

Despite unparalleled opposition to the agreement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and religious freedom organizations and human rights NGOs, the Vatican renewed their 2018 secret-deal with China this October.

In a “First Things” op-ed, “China’s Catholics and the Moral Witness of the Church,” Secretary Pompeo catalogues in gruesome detail the ongoing abuses and persecution of religious believers at the hands of the CCP during the agreement’s two-year cycle. Pompeo forcefully argued that “the Chinese people need the Vatican’s moral witness and authority in support of China’s religious believers.”

Panellists Frank Gaffney, president & CEO of Save the Persecuted Christians and Vice-Chair of the Committee on the Present Danger: China, Bob Fu, founder & president of ChinaAid, Elizabeth Yore, international child-rights lawyer of Yore Children, and Ann Buwalda, executive director of the Jubilee Campaign will present this important Polish Ministerial to Advance Freedom of Religion or Belief side-event.

Finding Common Ground Through FoRB Advocacy in an Age of Polarization

Global advocacy for freedom of religion or belief requires searching for common ground and building alliances across faiths, politics, and geographic boundaries. In an increasingly polarized world characterized by a decline in civil dialogue and accommodative politics, some recent efforts at promoting freedom of religion or belief offer an inspiring model to reverse the worrying trends. By reflecting on the experiences of the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief, the International Religious Freedom Roundtables and their faith-based civic partners, this panel aims to highlight some best practices in building common ground and countering intolerance and polarization. Panellists will share their insights as to the unique contributions freedom of religion or belief for all can offer for strengthening deliberative democracy and respect for diversity.

Moderator: Liv H. Kvanvig, IPPFoRB Director

Speakers:
Kasthuri Patto, MP Malaysia & IPPFoRB
Aykan Erdemir, Former MP, Turkey, IPPFoRB, and Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Ed Brown, Secretary-General, Stefanus Alliance,
Greg Mitchell, Co-Chair, IRF Secretariat

A Beleaguered Community. The Growing Target Killings, Violance, Legal Discrimination and Social Exclusion of The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

The side event will reflect on the challenges facing religious communities in Pakistan, particularly the country’s draconian anti-Ahmadi and Blasphemy laws that have been used by the state to persecute religious communities for more than 40 years.

Pakistan’s Christian Blasphemy Victims

Pakistan’s Christian Blasphemy Victims is presented as a virtual side-event to the Polish Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom.

Join us for this important virtual seminar on Christian Blasphemy victims in Pakistan.

Experts from Save the Persecuted Christians, Jubilee Campaign, Set My People Free, Pakistan Christian Association USA, Revealing Light Ministries, and World Minorities Alliance will present reports on and testimonies of Christians currently held in Pakistani prisons on charges of Blasphemy. In Pakistan, the penalty for Blasphemy is death. Human rights and religious freedom advocates warn Blasphemy laws in Pakistan are used to persecuted and intimidate minority believers.

This event will include witnesses to persecution.